Commercial real estate operates in a world apart from buying and selling residential properties. There is much more involved in commercial sector transactions, from property listing and showing to negotiating and drafting financial agreements. Most business property and land development are listed with commercial real estate brokers rather than agents because the focus of these two jobs is different. To get the benefit from a relationship with any commercial real estate expert, owners of companies need to understand how the commercial real estate industry works and what to expect from brokers.

Broker vs. Agent

There are various things that differentiate real estate brokers from agents:

  • Agents – When looking to buy or lease advertised listings or search for specific property, most individuals call a real estate agent or realtor who work for agencies and brokerages. It is their job to sell properties listed by their company or help clients find exactly what fits their needs. Agents do things such as show properties, arrange for inspections, and the many other necessary steps that must occur before final negotiations and signing a purchase contract. It is generally understood that agents work in the interests of the clients who list property with them.

  • Brokers – Although also agents, brokers are licensed to sell real estate and to run an agency or brokerage. Companies that deal mostly with commercial property are often referred to as brokerages and commercial real estate brokers buy, sell, and arrange leasing for such property. Since agents work for brokers selling company-listed property, brokers actively seek property to list and clients to use the services of the broker to find commercial property. Essentially, it is the broker’s responsibility to provide the means for agents to do their jobs, which is time-consuming, detailed work.

Brokers and Agents Working Together

Some brokers who handle commercial real estate do their own work to sell their listed properties. They find and contract for commercial real estate, show such property, and all work necessary to close a deal. Others employ realtors to help find buyers and negotiating deals in order to concentrate on other parts of their work or to continue contracting with more properties.

Commercial real estate brokers employ agents who are usually paid a predetermined commission for a sale. Brokers who work without agents obviously do not pay such a commission. In either case, brokers typically work long hours, either on their own listings or managing listings that will benefit their company.

Working With Commercial Real Estate Broker

Although it might appear like brokers and agents do the same thing, there are advantages in dealing directly with a broker when looking for commercial real estate. Because marketing is a large part of their job, brokers know more about property trends, area business trends, pricing, and other information that is very helpful for a business looking to buy or lease the right commercial building. Because brokers are highly experienced in creative financing, having one work out good funding for a transaction often yields better results.

Whether working with commercial real estate brokers directly or through commissioned agents, these professionals can find the right property and negotiate the best deals for clients – one to which both seller/lessor and buyer/lessee can agree. Brokers have extensive experience and know the local market better, so it is good to know that behind every commercial agent lies the experience and guidance of a professional commercial real estate broker!

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